Maximum sustained winds of 185 km / h are expected to accelerate further and hit Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula on Wednesday.
The Hurricane Delta, the 25th named Atlantic storm that year, intensified. Catastrophic winds were expected to sweep across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula before targeting the United States’ Gulf Coast later in the week, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The maximum sustained winds rose to 185 km / h on Tuesday and are expected to accelerate further on Wednesday, hitting Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane, the NHC said.
Yucatan officials evacuated hotels on the Cancun coast and warned residents to stay indoors.
The storm will reenter the Gulf of Mexico a day later and intensify with winds of up to 225 km / h, the NHC said.
Delta is expected to reach the US Gulf Coast between Louisiana and Florida by Friday. A US landing would break a record dating back to 1916, when the most famous storms hit the US. This is another milestone in a year marked by recurring natural disasters ranging from floods to forest fires to tornadoes.
“This will be a major hurricane,” said Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather’s chief hurricane forecaster. Warm water and a lack of wind shear will allow the storm to intensify quickly, he said.
Delta winds could also bring nine-meter-high seas to areas off the coast of Louisiana, Kottlowski said, noting that doing so could affect shipping and oil and gas production.
This year there were so many Atlantic storms that forecasters ran out of names and turned to the Greek alphabet last. When Delta hits the coast, it would be the 10th storm to hit the US.
Oil workers fled offshore platforms and producers ceased production on Tuesday, some for the fifth time this year.
Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP PLC, the BHP Group, Equinor, Murphy Oil and Occidental Petroleum have started to downsize and secure offshore facilities.
According to Andrew Siffert, vice president at reinsurance brokerage firm BMS Group, the aforementioned storms have cost about $ 9 billion in insured losses so far this year, compared to $ 75 billion in 2017.